Service is a big part of discipleship at Columbia Bible College. After all, we believe and follow a God who embodies service in the person of Jesus. As Jesus taught, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt. 20:27-28 NIV). Christians serve because Christ serves.
Praxis challenges students to adopt the attitude and practice of service as central to the Christian life. As students visit churches, businesses, organizations, and neighbourhoods in the cities they visit, the commitment to faithful service is a common theme. One of the key practices in serving is offering presence. Studies show that many people’s problems, be those relational, spiritual, emotional, or even physical, relate on some level to their experience of connection or belonging. Offering presence, through conversation and friendship, not only tells someone they are loved, it gives them a window into the experience of God’s love.
Reflecting on a recent service assignment, Brittany, a current Praxis student, shares about her experience of offering this sort of presence:
“People want to sit in real conversation. At a recent event, I sat down at a table with a lady who shared some of her story with me. She had lived a hard life, which included abuse and loneliness. I could tell by the way that she talked that she had so much bitterness and resentment locked up in her heart and I wanted so badly to be able to fix it for her. But I knew in that moment that the best thing for her was that I was taking the time to listen.”
It’s in these types of situations – offering presence to a hurting world – that Praxis students are learning practices for a life of service in the name of Jesus.